Identification of a Catalytically Highly Active Surface Phase for CO Oxidation over PtRh Nanoparticles under Operando Reaction Conditions

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Pt-Rh alloy nanoparticles on oxide supports are widely employed in heterogeneous catalysis with applications ranging from automotive exhaust control to energy conversion. To improve catalyst performance, an atomic-scale correlation of the nanoparticle surface structure with its catalytic activity under industrially relevant operando conditions is essential. Here, we present x-ray diffraction data sensitive to the nanoparticle surface structure combined with in situ mass spectrometry during near ambient pressure CO oxidation. We identify the formation of ultrathin surface oxides by detecting x-ray diffraction signals from particular nanoparticle facets and correlate their evolution with the sample's enhanced catalytic activity. Our approach opens the door for an in-depth characterization of well-defined, oxide-supported nanoparticle based catalysts under operando conditions with unprecedented atomic-scale resolution.


  • U. Hejral
  • D. Franz
  • S. Volkov
  • S. Francoual
  • J. Strempfer
  • A. Stierle
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • German Electron Synchrotron (DESY)
  • University of Hamburg

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Den kondenserade materiens fysik
TidskriftPhysical Review Letters
Utgåva nummer12
StatusPublished - 2018 mar 23
Peer review utfördJa